Ben Matheson, KYUK - Bethel
Ben Matheson is a reporter at KYUK in Bethel.
Bethel’s Pete Kaiser is the 2015 Kuskokwim 300 champion. Kaiser and his team crossed the finish line in Bethel at 5:31 Sunday morning with a team of nine dogs in the 36th running of the race. Kaiser is the first local musher in 29 years to win the race.
Twenty-five mushers are set to race from Bethel to Aniak and back in the 36th running of the Kuskokwim 300. After a couple winter warmups, and little snow, this year’s trail follows the truck road on the river almost exclusively to Aniak and back, cutting out the loop near Whitefish Lake.
Exactly one month from the start of the Kuskokwim 300, 31 mushers have signed up for the race to Aniak and back. Race Manager Zach Fansler says it’s the biggest field in two decades.
The Calista-sponsored Regional Committee voted Monday to hold a Governance Convention next year to pursue the possibility of a creating a regional tribal government or making changes to the Association of Village Council Presidents.
A new regional tribal government, new taxes, and a constitutional convention will be considered when theCalista-facilitated Regional Committee meets Monday in Anchorage.
Bethel’s Ana Hoffman and former Senate President Rick Halford are chairing incoming Governor Bill Walker’s transition team. Walker is racing towards inauguration next month.
XS Platinum and five of its employees and corporate officers have been indicted by a federal grand jury for alleged illegal discharges of mine waste water at the Platinum Creek mine in Southwest Alaska and for making false statements to authorities.
After a week without power, the lights in Tuluksak came back on Friday evening. Some families lost hundreds of pounds of meat and fish due to the extended outage during unseasonably warm weather. The community of more than 400 located upriver from Bethel lost power earlier this month.
After a week without power, a backup generator is scheduled to arrive in Tuluksak Friday. But families have already lost hundreds of pounds of moose, fish, birds, and berries.
A Bethel man has accepted a plea deal for sexual abuse of minors. Eighteen charges against 66-year old Daniel Kashatok were consolidated into a charge of 2nd degree sexual assault of a minor and one 2nd degree count of attempted sexual assault of a minor.
Y-K Delta House Representative Bob Herron will be the Whip for the Majority Caucus this January. Herron and the Republican-led caucus just finished two days of organization meetings. As Majority Whip, the District 38 Democrat is charged with making sure there is effective communication in the caucus.
Early next year, Alaskans will be able to legally buy, transport, and use small amounts of marijuana. The initiative will not be law until three months after the vote is certified, and the state has more time to come up with rules for marijuana sales.
Y-K Delta Senator Lyman Hoffman will be caucusing with the Majority Caucus. The group met Wednesday in Anchorage to organize and name leadership. Hoffman is the first Democrat to join this version of the 15-person body. He says he’s had positive experiences working with members on gasline legislation.
Republican Dan Sullivan appears to be Alaska’s next US Senator. The former Attorney General and Natural Resources Commissioner was up 8-thousand votes with all precincts reporting. The Kuskokwim Delta, however, came out for the Democrat Mark Begich, with 70 percent Bethel voters supporting Begich to Sullivan’s 25 percent.